Counter Terrorism: NCTC-ONSA and the Winning Character

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March 20, 2024

Abu, I. Michael

Some persons have clamoured for declaration of a state of emergency on our security situation, recent call on this was made by the National President of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Mr. Audu Amba at the NUT’s 6th Annual Solemn Assembly held in Abuja. The insecurity in the country is endemic no doubt, and the comments being expressed by concerned individuals and groups are explicitly not unwarranted. However, I don’t think that the Federal Government under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is unworried over the issue; some actions being taken by his government allude to the seriousness of the attention being given to matters of national security.

Some of the steps taken by President Tinubu to address the security challenges include increased funding to defence and security operations; strong urge for synergy among defence and all other security forces in the country; purchase of 4 Diamond Surveillance Aircrafts; and the induction of 2 TK 129-ATAK Helicopters and a King Air360i Aircraft at Nigerian Air Force Base in Makurdi, Benue State.  To further boost the fight against kidnapping, the president in January gave an emergency approval for the procurement of Digital Tracking Devices for effective combat against kidnappers and other armed criminals in Abuja and its environs.

The facets of security indicate that it is a whole lot of affairs. My recent exploration throw up at me some knowledge that were hitherto hidden to me because my depiction of security was confined to the military, police, intelligence and other law enforcement agencies. The idea of national security has both military and nonmilitary dimensions. National security encompasses the military, border, geostrategic, demographic, cyber, resource, information and many areas relating to socioeconomic matters, the grasp of all these will enable us appreciate the enormous and significant responsibilities of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) which also coordinates defence and security operations in Nigeria.

From my perspective, the proper management of the interesting multiple aspects of human and environmental protection will help towards the development of effective governance system and national security of Nigeria. The goal of the national security of any known country of the world is to protect the lives of the citizens; secure the country’s sovereignty; ensures the promotion of the country’s fundamental rights, needs, values and institutions. There could be more, I believe!

To me, the sheer awareness of this fact by President Tinubu necessitated his choice of Malam Nuhu Ribadu as the National Security Adviser (NSA). The NSA advises the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria daily or from time-to-time on intelligence activities and issues of national security; makes recommendations on defence, police and other security related matters; and ensures the organization, guidance and harmonization of national security polices, strategies and efforts among others. From the activities of the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) being coordinated by Rear Admiral YEM Musa (rtd), ONSA has continued to generate intelligence for informed decisions and formulations of policy options for our defence and other security engagements.

Under the incumbent NSA, the security forces are more coordinated in their operations against the terrorists and other armed criminals targeting innocent citizens in parts of the country. Inter-agency rivalry has largely been deracinated and the synergy encouraged by President Tinubu Administration is paying off. While much still need to be done, ONSA leadership deserves a pat on the back because the insurgents and several armed groups carrying out acts of terrorism can be said to have been decapitated reasonably compared to the past.

The sublime drive of ONSA in the recent and the winning character of the military and other security forces in the war against terrorists and their likes find expression in courage; the elements of courage are commitment and endurance. Every profession has its courage including the military and other security forces. Physical, emotional and social courage are proper for the military and other security personnel, but most importantly is moral courage which in my opinion has been the driving force of Malam Ribadu’s leadership. I also believe that he has rub off the oil of moral courage on ONSA, the military and every other crime fighting organizations in the country.

When a person’s integrity is not in doubt, the person will always act without fear or favour; such a person is likely to deliver justifiably, impartially, and unambiguously. And no matter what, such a person will win people’s admiration; and majority of the people will have no choice but to praise his moral courage. Nigeria, I am certain can boast of people with moral courage. Some of the good things about moral courage are that it radiates confidence and weakens enemies, better put, opponents from accusing and they surreptitiously join in applauding the feats of the leader with moral courage.  Gladly, ONSA is already instilling such courage in the leaderships of our security forces.

Michael is Head, STRATCOM, NCTC-ONSA, Abuja  


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